Power Struggles in Christian Marriage?

I am annoyed by the many articles and books on Christian marriage which begin with the premise that in every marriage there will be power struggles between husband and wife. I came across an article today by Kevin A. Miller entitled: “What’s so Scary about Submission”[1] and he too seems to think that one of the main obstacles for harmony in Christian marriage is this assumed power struggle.[2]

Is a power struggle between a Christian husband and wife really an ordinary part of married life?

Isn’t a power struggle simply an indication of personalities that need more refinement by the Holy Spirit?

I am married to a wonderful man (we’ve been married for over 26 years), and a power struggle has never been part of our experience. From day one in our relationship we have treated each other with mutual respect. We both have been humble and submissive. We both have given the other person the freedom to be themselves. Neither one of us has wanted to be the dominant voice in our marriage. Neither one of us has wanted to be the leader. Instead we have endeavored to lead our family and manage our home together.

Needless to say, all of these things have been attempted and achieved with a greater or lesser degree of imperfection!

Rather than struggling for power, our struggles have been about how to understand and accommodate the other, prefer the other, and support and care for the other in meaningful, loving ways.

Is it rare or unusual for two Spirit-led Christians to have a marriage without power struggles?  I certainly hope not.


Endnote

[1] The full title of the article is: “What’s so Scary about Submission? – Six Secrets about what the Bible Really Teaches.” This article was first published in 2002, but has been republished several times over the last few years by different Christian organisations. It can be viewed here.

[2] A power struggle occurs when people vie for control in a relationship and strive to get their own “way.”

© 13th of June, 2010; Margaret Mowczko


Related Articles

Leading Together in the Home
Submission
A Suitable Helper
God wants women to be happy in marriage
Advice to Newlyweds
The Complementarian Concept of “The Created Order”